Monday, March 24, 2008

Not Just Facebook: OnLine Social NetWorks Are EveryWhere


While Bebo, Facebook, hi5, MySpace, and Orkut, are among the better known general online social networks, there is an ever-increasing number of online networks that have emerged for and within a wide variety of communities.

I am greatly interested in learning of Online Social Networks in These And/Or Other Communities

BTW: I Am Aware Of Many Other Communities With Online Social Networks


But Am Asking The Web Communities For Their Suggestions.


academici []

Classroom 2.0 []

EduSpaces []

OpenAcademic []


Black Planet []


Boomj []

Eons []

Second Prime Time []


LinkedIn []

Ryze []

Spoke []



OUTeverywhere []


MeeJew []

MyChurch []

Muslim Spaces []


2collab []

Nature Network []

Pronetos: The Social Network For Scholars []

I am also interested in Major Web Sites That Have Compiled A Listing of Online Social Network Sites/Services As Well As Any/All Associated Literature.

BTW: I am aware of Social Networking Services Meta List made available on thesocialsoftwareweblog (but it's dated)


and of course List of Social Networking Websites from Wikipedia


I am also aware of the Ning-based online social networks





Sunday, March 23, 2008

Favorite [Library-Related] Facebook Apps?


What Are YOUR Favorite [Library-Related] Facebook Apps (That Are Not Listed Below)?

Here Are MINE:

Broward County Library Search

D'Youville College Library Search


EIU Library Search [Eastern Illinois University]

Edmonton Public Library - Search and Find


Extended Information

FB Google

FjesBib [Bergen offentlige bibliotek]


Flog Blog


Hennepin County Library Catalog




LibGuides Librarian

Librarian [Brad Czerniak]

Lister Hill Library Catalog Search [University of Alabama at Birmingham]

MIT Libraries [Massachusetts Institute of Technology]

Miami U. Videos [Miami University (Ohio)]


Mini-Library [European National Library]

Mississippi State University Library

Notre Dame Library Search

Penn State University Libraries Search


PubMed Search


RIT Libraries Catalog [Rochester Institute of Technology]

Ryerson University Librray

Simply RSS


Swem Tools [College of William and Mary]

U of A Libraries [University of Alberta]

UAH Catalog Search [University of Alabama in Huntsville]

UIUC Library Search [University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

UM Library Search [University of Michigan]

UNR Libraries Search [University of Nevada, Reno]


Visual Book Shelf

Wiki Whiteboard

World Cat

YouTube Video Box




Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Open Scholar: Professors Are People Too

New York Times
March 20, 2008
The Professor as Open Book

IT is not necessary for a student studying multivariable calculus, medieval literature or Roman archaeology to know that the professor on the podium shoots pool, has donned a bunny costume or can’t get enough of Chaka Khan.

Yet professors of all ranks and disciplines are revealing such information on public, national platforms: blogs, Web pages, social networking sites, even campus television.

When scholars were recently given the chance to refute student criticism posted on the Web site, a cult-hit television series, “Professors Strike Back,” was born. The show, which has professors responding on camera to undergraduate gripes such as “boring beyond belief,” made its debut in October on mtvU, a 24-hour network broadcast to more than 7.5 million students on American college campuses. [snip]

There was a time when professors did not outrank music premieres on television. They were buttoned-up authority figures, like the legendary fictional Professor Kingsfield, portrayed by John Houseman in “The Paper Chase.” The personal lives of professors could only be imagined from the sparse clues of clothing, handwriting and the contents of offices.

These days, the clues are usually digital and are broad invitations to get to know the person behind the Ph.D. It is not uncommon for professors’ Web pages to include lists of the books they would take to a deserted island, links to their favorite songs from bygone eras, blog posts about their children, entries “written” by their dogs and vacation photographs.

While many professors have rushed to meet the age of social networking, there are some who think it is symptomatic of an unfortunate trend, that a professor’s job today is not just to impart knowledge, but to be an entertainer.

Certainly, professors have embraced the Internet since its earliest days, using it as a scholarly avenue of communication, publication and debate. Now it is common for many to reveal more personal information that has little connection to their work.

Some do so in hopes it will attract attention for a book or paper they have written; others do so inadvertently, joining Facebook to communicate with students and then finding themselves lured deeper by its various applications.

Many, though, say that by divulging family history and hobbies, they hope to appear more accessible to students.

William Irwin, an associate professor of philosophy at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., has a Facebook profile, appeared on “Professors Strike Back” and, last summer, created a MySpace page (with a harpist playing music by Metallica) that he says had some 10,000 friends.


Mr. Irwin updates his Facebook page with photos and titles of books he is reading, but he misses what he calls the Las Vegas feel of MySpace. Still, his postings ignite a conversation with students. “Anything I can do to kind of meet them halfway,” he said, “I try to do.”

This sentiment is shared by scholars who think that knowing that your Latin professor likes fly fishing and runs a knitting circle could improve the teacher-student relationship.

David H. Collingwood, a mathematics professor at the University of Washington and a Web page pioneer, whose online photographs show him drinking wine in Italy, mountaineering and scuba diving, said in an e-mail message that undergraduates in large classes often fear approaching the professor for help.

Having a common interest can break the ice. “I have students come to my office hours and comment on a commonality between their interests and mine,” he wrote.

Nate Ackerman, a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, whose Web page includes information about his wrestling achievements and photos of him with his cats, agreed. “It’s better when your professor’s human,” he said.


Mr. Friedman of mtvU said it is the nature of the age. “I think it’s part of this increased transparency,” he said.


A number of professors said the most disarming thing of all to students is when they encounter a professor not on a Web page, but in the real world. When a student spotted Mr. Gosling on a street near campus, he said, “She looked at me in, like, horror. Like, ‘Wait a minute, you have a life?’ The idea that I would continue to exist — it was sort of a violation of her expectations.”


Ryerson-Facebook-Study-Group-Student Won't Be Expelled

CBC News

A Toronto university student will not be expelled for running a Facebook study group that his school had argued constituted cheating. Ryerson University's Faculty Appeals Committee announced the decision to spare Chris Avenir on Tuesday afternoon, a week after his expulsion hearing.

The 18-year-old will be required to take a course on academic misconduct and will have a note on his transcript saying he was disciplined, said Nora Loreto, president of the Ryerson Students Union. Avenir will also get a zero on one of his assignments, worth 10 per cent of his course grade, Loreto said. "

Chris in our view is still innocent, so it is still too bad that he got zero for that 10 per cent," Loreto said. "But considering we were facing expulsion, I think this is a victory, certainly a broader victory for the students at Ryerson."

Avenir's lawyer said Tuesday that Avenir has not yet decided if he will appeal the decision. "It's a finding he's not at all comfortable with. He doesn't believe that it's fair or appropriate," lawyer John Adair said. [snip]

The first-year computer engineering student faced one count of academic misconduct for acting as the administrator of the online group and 146 counts for each classmate who was a member of it.


Professor asked for independent work

His case ignited debate over whether the study group amounted to online cheating or, as Avenir argued, an exchange of academic ideas in line with such practices as tutoring and mentoring. When the online study group Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions was discovered, Avenir's chemistry professor gave him an F in the course and charged him with academic misconduct. The professor had asked that students perform their work independently. Loreto said Avenir's failing grade has been revoked and he will now be allowed to pass the course.

Avenir has said he joined the online study group Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions last fall, then later took charge of the page. He argued that the group was a place online where students could share notes on assignments that contributed 10 per cent to the overall course mark and was no different than any library study group or peer tutoring.




Real Media




Facebook : The New Study Hall For The Wired Generation?



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Wetpaint Goes Social

Wetpaint Adds New Social Dimension to Wikis Wetpaint becomes the first fully social publishing platform giving consumers all the tools needed to create dynamic, interactive websites

(Seattle, Wash. – March 10, 2008) Wetpaint, the leading social publishing platform with a network of over 750,000 social sites, today unveiled a complete set of social networking features to supercharge creation of content on its award-winning wiki service that now unifies the two things people love to do online – socialize and share content with others.With the addition of such new features as a Friends Network, Custom Member Profiles, a What’s New site activity dashboard and Friends Feeds, Wetpaint has created the first truly integrated social publishing platform, empowering anyone to easily create a completely social and collaborative website.

“At its essence, online collaboration is a social experience, but on most wikis that aspect has been limited to hidden discussion pages – it’s the equivalent of a cocktail party where no one talks to each other,” said Ben Elowitz, CEO of Wetpaint. “By adding a social dimension to Wetpaint, users are more likely to interact and engage with each other – interaction being the key driver to generating content that has lasting value to not only themselves but a wider reading audience.”By fusing its best-in-class publishing tools with social networking features that increase user connection and communication, Wetpaint sites provide the ideal environment for anyone to quickly and easily create a website that flourishes with interaction, discussion and collaboration, resulting in rich content that attracts new members and bigger audiences.

The new slate of Wetpaint social features debuted today includes:

  • Friends Network: Wetpaint site users can now easily connect with one another through friend invitations to better collaborate and keep up-to-date on each other’s activity.
  • Custom Member Profiles: Each site can have its own custom profile templates for members to share interests and information with the community.
  • Compliments: Members of the site can send compliments to other members to express their appreciation for their contributions, comments and participation. Compliments can also be collected and viewed as awards displayed on member profiles.
  • Enhanced Member Directory: Quickly search and sort through the member profiles of a site and determine who’s contributed the most, who joined recently and more.
  • What’s New Dashboard: Users and visitors can see and respond to what’s new with an at-a-glance overview of most recent page, comment and member updates.
  • To-Dos: Fueling collaboration, site members can request help from one another as well as flag and track needed improvements and tasks.
  • Friend Feeds: Stay up to date with your friends on the site by getting reports on their latest activity and contributions.
  • Promote My Site wizard: To help sites gain more traffic through SEO, this wizard measures how attractive the site is to new members and search engines, and offers guidance for improvements.
  • Photo Gallery (Q2 availability): Upload multiple photos at once and browse all photos across the site in a single location.

To see the new social features in action, visit and create your own free public or private social website, or explore any of the 750,000 sites already populating the Wetpaint network.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Social Networking Services For Engaged Library Instruction

Being There: Using Social Networking Services For Engaged Library Instruction

Gerry McKiernan,, Library, Iowa State University, 152 Parks, Ames, IA 50011

At colleges and universities today, a significant portion of students are members of Facebook (, the online social networking service. Beginning in Summer 2007, we initiated a series of outreach projects using Facebook to directly promote Library programs and services to select members of the ISU community. These initiatives sought to inform students and faculty not only about the availability of core services offered by the reference and instruction department (e.g., book and journal selection, library presentations, research assistance) but also about the general library services provided by the library (e.g., interlibrary loan, library collections, reserve and media services).

This presentation will report on the results of these projects and describe future outreach plans. In addition, the general nature of Facebook, and its current and potential use by educators will be reviewed. The presentation will conclude with a brief overview of key readings and Web resources about online social networks.


The 235th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 6-10, 2008

Using Social Networking Tools to Teach Chemistry

8:30 AM-11:55 AM, Monday, April 7, 2008

Hilton New Orleans Riverside -- Oak Alley, Oral



Saturday, March 8, 2008

SCELC-Net: A Model Online Social Consortial Network - The PPT


On March 5 2008 I had the privilege to present at the SCELC Colloquium III held at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

SCLEC- The Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium - seeks to explore issues related to electronic and digital information and to promote the creation, access, use, management and maintenance of this information for the benefit of faculty and students in the member institutions.

This year its Colloquium featured sessions on open source federated search and catalog solutions, social networking and libraries, and the future of cataloging.

I was honored to be on the same program with Karen Coyle (Digital Library Consultant), Marsha Schnirring (Occidental College), Tracy Thompson (NELLCOP), Cindi Trainor (Eastern Kentucky University), and Jezmynne Westcott (Claremont College).


I have self-archived a corrected and revised version of my presentation "SCELC-Net: A Model Online Social Consortial Network" at


As they become available, I will profile and link to the presentations of my fellow SCELC Colloquium III colleagues.


P.S. In my presentation, I profile the planned My ALA online community shepherded by Jenny Levine of ALA.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Facebook : The New Study Hall For The Wired Generation?

Student Faces Facebook Consequences

Freshman hit with 147 academic charges for online study network at Ryerson University

Mar 06, 2008 04:30 AM
Louise Brown / Toronto Star /Education Reporter

Ryerson student Chris Avenir is facing expulsion for taking part in a Facebook study group for one of his engineering courses.

Study groups may be a virtual trademark of the Ivory Tower - but a virtual study group has been slammed as cheating by Ryerson University.

First-year student Chris Avenir is fighting charges of academic misconduct for helping run an online chemistry study group via Facebook last term, where 146 classmates swapped tips on homework questions that counted for 10 per cent of their mark.

The computer engineering student has been charged with one count of academic misconduct for helping run the group - called Dungeons/Mastering Chemistry Solutions after the popular Ryerson basement study room engineering students dub The Dungeon - and another 146 counts, one for each classmate who used the site.


The incident has sent shock waves through student ranks, says Kim Neale, 26, the student union's advocacy co-ordinator, who will represent Avenir at the hearing.

"All these students are scared s---less now about using Facebook to talk about schoolwork, when actually it's no different than any study group working together on homework in a library," said Neale.

"That's the worst part; it's creating this culture of fear, where if I post a question about physics homework on my friend's wall (a Facebook bulletin board) and ask if anyone has any ideas how to approach this - and my prof sees this, am I cheating?" said Neale, who has used Facebook study groups herself.


Ryerson's academic misconduct policy, which is being updated, defines it as "any deliberate activity to gain academic advantage, including actions that have a negative effect on the integrity of the learning environment."

Yet students argue Facebook groups are simply the new study hall for the wired generation.

Avenir said he joined the Facebook group last fall to get help with some of the questions the professor would give student s to do online. As the network grew, he took over as its administrator, which is why he believes he alone has been charged.

"So we each would be given chemistry questions and if we were having trouble, we'd post the question and say: `Does anyone get how to do this one? I didn't get it right and I don't know what I'm doing wrong.' Exactly what we would say to each other if we were sitting in the Dungeon," said Avenir yesterday.


"But if this kind of help is cheating, then so is tutoring and all the mentoring programs the university runs and the discussions we do in tutorials," he said.


While Neale admits the professor stipulated the online homework questions were to be done independently, she said it has long been a tradition for students to brainstorm homework in groups, particularly in heavy programs such as law, engineering and medicine.

Each student in the course received slightly different questions to prevent cheating, she said, and she did not see evidence of students doing complete solutions for each other. Instead, she said, they would brainstorm about techniques.


But Neale admitted the invitation to the Facebook group may have been what landed them in trouble. It read: "If you request to join, please use the forms to discuss/post solutions to the chemistry assignments. Please input your solutions if they are not already posted."

Still, said Neale, "no one did post a full final solution. It was more the back and forth that you get in any study group."